male hand holding smartphone
From messaging and project management to accepting payments and recording expenses, these apps help business owners manage their tasks from anywhere. — Getty Images/Zephyr18

There are many different aspects of running a small business, like communicating with your team, paying your employees and tracking your expenses. Finding the right apps to manage all of your tasks can free up time and help your business operate more efficiently. Listed below are the seven best apps for small business owners.

Best messaging app: Slack

Slack is an instant messaging app that will save you from getting sucked into endless email threads with your employees. You can create multiple public or private channels, depending on your business’s needs. There is no limit to the number of users you can add to your Slack channels.

Best of all, Slack makes it easy to share images, documents and PDFs right within the platform. It also automatically indexes and archives everything, so you’ll always have a record of your conversations.

Alternatives to Slack: Microsoft Teams, Rocket.Chat, Mattermost

Best for accepting payments: Square

If you need an all-in-one payment system, look no further than Square. The company provides a POS system that makes it easy for small businesses to get paid. It’s a great option thanks to its affordable pricing, easy setup and free online tools.

However, Square is best for low-volume merchants that work in low-risk industries. As your business continues to grow, you may find that you need more functionality than Square offers.

Alternatives to Square: Lightspeed, Payment Depot, Shopify

Best for accounting: Quickbooks

QuickBooks is the most popular accounting software on the market, and for good reason. The company’s cloud-based software is intuitive, easy to use and offers numerous integrations.

[Read more: 10 Common QuickBooks Questions Answered]

You can send invoices, pay your employees and prepare for tax season with the company’s robust software. And the company offers a number of video tutorials to help you learn how to navigate the platform.

Alternatives to QuickBooks: FreshBooks, Wave Accounting, Sage Business Cloud Accounting

Finding the right apps to manage all of your tasks can free up time and help your business operate more efficiently.

Best for project management: Trello

Trello is a project management software that makes it easier for teams to collaborate. Within each Trello board, you can create individual cards outlining the various tasks needed to complete a project.

Within each card, you can assign due dates, tag other members, create checklists and upload documents and images. The app offers dozens of integrations, including Evernote, Slack, and Google Drive.

Alternatives to Trello: Basecamp, Asana, Airtable

Best for time tracking: Toggl

If you have remote employees, you need a streamlined way for them to track their hours. Toggl is a great choice because it provides flexible, cloud-based time tracking software for individuals and businesses.

At the end of the month, you can export your time logs to a spreadsheet. These reports will give you additional insights into how much time your employees are spending on a given task. It may also help you determine what projects are the most profitable for your business.

Alternatives to Toggl: Hubstaff, RescueTime, DeskTime

Best for creating and sharing to-do lists: Wunderlist

Sometimes, a good to-do list is all you really need. In that case, Wunderlist is one of the best options available. The app lets you create multiple to-do lists, and you can assign tasks to other people on your team. This makes it easier to collaborate remotely with your employees and ensure the work is getting done.

In 2015, Wunderlist was acquired by Microsoft, and the company has said it plans to shut the app down eventually. Four years later, Wunderlist is still going strong, although Microsoft isn’t updating the app. If you’re concerned about this, you can check out one of the Wunderlist alternatives.

Alternatives to Wunderlist: OmniFocus, Evernote, nTask

Best for managing expense reports: Expensify

One of the most tedious aspects of being a small business owner is tracking your receipts and your expenses. Instead of stuffing an old shoebox full of receipts, why not track them with Expensify?

With Expensify, you can take a photo of a receipt, and the software will automatically transcribe the details for you. Expensify will also categorize each receipt, saving you a lot of time in the process.

The platform will allow your employees to submit business receipts for reimbursement, and it also directly syncs with most major accounting software.

Alternatives to Expensify: Zoho Books, QuickBooks Enterprise, Xero

CO— aims to bring you inspiration from leading respected experts. However, before making any business decision, you should consult a professional who can advise you based on your individual situation.

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